Draft One: April 8, 2008
The theory and practice of collaborative art making has proliferated in the last two decades, reflecting, in part, trends in network technologies, including the World Wide Web. Although numerous studies have explored web-influenced collaborative, cooperative and collective production in education, industry, labour, design and popular culture, research into the impact of new technologies on both online and offline creative collaboration as art remains comparatively limited. Developing in this gap, my project considers the intersection of authorship, collaborative art practice and Web 2.0 technologies (wikis, blogs, folksonomies, social networking sites). It conceptualizes Web 2.0 as both an ethos and a toolbox for shaping complex subjectivities inscribed through a combination of individual and group utterances. It values these utterances as the substance of collaboration as a creative act, effectively circumscribing "dialogic art" as a genre of contemporary art characterized by discursive form, style and subject matter.
The epistemological foundation of this study can be defined as dialogic because it understands knowledge as arising out of the social relations enacted through communication. Complementing this assumption, the ontological basis for this research is determined by a post-structuralist understanding of subjectivity as simultaneously dispersed and multiple. Together these philosophical perspectives support a perception of individual and group subjectivities as dynamic and interdependent, contingent on the intersubjectivity comprising collaboration as a space for creative production and expression.
Distinguished by its practice-led approach, this research investigates self-representation from the point of view of a practitioner working across online and offline collaborative platforms. The empirical basis for this inquiry is comprised of case studies describing and theorizing both individual and shared forms of authorship. Using Actor-Network Theory, participant-observation and self-observation in conjunction with Web 2.0 technologies and face-to-face dialogue, this social-psychological investigation locates individual subjectivity as a site for collaborative creativity within dialogic art by understanding collaborative art as emerging through the interplay of individual and group authorship. By mapping this threshold, this research presents creative collaboration as a process for exploring the creative, experimental and representational possibilities of self-representation.
word count: 344
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